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Federal Court ruling gives Port Phillip Bay last minute reprieve from destruction

Original artilce here

Blue Wedges has won the right to challenge Mr. Garrett's decision to approve the channel deepening project in a full Hearing of the Federal Court on 20th February.

Lawyers for Blue Wedges were successful in obtaining a full Hearing of our case in the Federal Court on 20th February. We also have an undertaking from the PoMC that they will provide us with 24 hours notice if they intend to commence dredging prior to that date if they have received the EMP.

Theoretically that gives us the opportunity to immediately apply for an injunction to stop those works commencing, but it hardly seems necessary as the court made it pretty clear that it would take a dim view of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) if it acted to start works before we have had our day in court and the judgment.

Justice North said:

"The court won't lightly allow the threatened damage to happen ... it would be bad manners, if not strategically silly .. and there would be consequences.

The court has a history of protecting legal rights to challenge government decisions"

In other words, it was unnecessary to order a formal stay because the PoMC was unlikely to proceed given the impending court date. This is the reality.

Mr. Garrett took only three days to decide to approve the project having supposedly absorbed 50,000 pages of supporting documentation. Under Section 146 of the EPBC Act Mr. Garrett can revoke his decision. It is time NOW to request he do just that. Write to him now at Peter.Garrett.MP|AT|

See also "A bay battler fights on" of 20 January 2008 in the Melbourne Age about how 12-year-old Elyse Coates-McCarthy swam to save the bay.

Visit Friends of the Earth's site to send letter to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to demand action.